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October 13, 2014 An UnHalloween Celebration By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Not every family loves and celebrates Halloween. My family loves this holiday, but I have to be mindful that not all families are excited to let their child dress up as Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, the Amazing Tattooed Lady from Olivia Saves the Circus, Elvis Presley, or Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (all costumes that my daughter, Ella, has worn through the years).

    So, I’ve come up with a fun way to have an UnHalloween celebration that will still get your class excited about learning on October 31.

    There are all kinds of different themes that you can have for your UnHalloween Day:

    • Witches

    • Pumpkins

    • Spiders

    • Candy (not a popular choice in many schools, but still fun)

    I love the monster theme and have created several fun activities and collected many awesome books that make for a fun-filled day of learning.

    Go Away Monster Spray

    I get a small, clear spray bottle and fill it up with regular old water. I tape this monster spray label on the bottle and introduce it to my class. I then give them washable markers and let them draw their own monsters on paper. Then they bring their pictures to the front and spray the Go Away Monster Spray while repeating this rhyme:

    When I see a monster,

    I say, "You cannot stay!"

    Then I grab the bottle of

    Go Away (dramatic pause) Monster Spray!

    I like to look at each monster and then tell the student who created it how he or she should say the rhyme. Examples would be, “Your monster looks a little shy, I think you should whisper the rhyme to him!” or “You need to yell the rhyme because your monster looks pretty mean!” Make sure to ask each child to describe their monster and also to point out the rhyming words in the phrase.

    Five Senses Monster

    I love having an art activity for my class to do. I always connect it to what we are learning. Art projects help students work on cutting, gluing, and following multi-step directions. Cutting and gluing are a way to build a child’s fine motor skills, and can transfer to their ability to hold pencils, tie shoes, and perform other daily activities. During the month of October, my class covers the five senses so it makes "sense" for my monster art project to include a "five senses" review.

    DirectionsPatterns

    Students use my patterns and get to pick any color that they like for the parts of their monster. They use this sheet to label their monsters five senses. This art project is structured enough for students to work independently, but still has an element of personalization. It also serves as a great assessment for the previously taught information.

    Monster Juice

    Use ginger ale, frozen limeade concentrate, lime sherbet, and gummy worms. First pour the ginger ale into a pitcher and then add the frozen limeade concentrate. After these two ingredients have reacted you can add the lime sherbet and watch that react with the mixture. I ladle out a little Monster Juice for everyone and add a few gummy worms for a garnish.

    This activity is perfect for sequencing and watching reactions between different ingredients. You can use this sheet as a wrap up activity about sequencing. You can make this recipe in any container that you have. I enjoy making it in a caldron.

    My Favorite Monster Books

    Even Monsters Need Haircut

    Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott

    A great descriptive book with adorable illustrations that helps students understand that monsters come in all varieties.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Leonardo the Terrible Monster

    Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

    This is my go-to monster book because it’s such a fun read. The title leads you to believe that Leonardo is great at being scary, but sweet Leonardo really is terrible at it. My favorite part to read aloud is when Max unleashes why he really cried. It’s a great little kid breakdown that will have the students in your room laughing out loud.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What Under the Bed?

    What’s Under the Bed? by Joe Fenton

    A fun book with a great twist. There is a monster under the bed, but he is just as scared about what's in the bed!

     

     

     

     

    Go Away Big Green Monster!Go Way, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

    Always a favorite book with the kids. Be prepared to leave this out after you read it because the students will want to build the monster and watch him disappear again and again. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jeremy Draws a MonsterJeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

    Use this book to introduce the Go Away Monster Spray activity. Jeremy draws a monster and then when the monster becomes too bossy, Jeremy tries different ways to get him to leave. I love to stop reading this book and have my students brainstorm different ways that Jeremy could get the monster to leave.

     

     

     

    The Monster Who Lost His Mean

    The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds

    If you are teaching beginning sounds, this book is an awesome way to illustrate your lessons. What happens when a monster loses his "mean"? He becomes an "onster." Super creative and a sweet story.

     

     

     

     

    Let’s connect on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next week.

     

    Join us for an exclusive video with Taylor Swift about books, and how reading and writing have influenced her.

    Not every family loves and celebrates Halloween. My family loves this holiday, but I have to be mindful that not all families are excited to let their child dress up as Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, the Amazing Tattooed Lady from Olivia Saves the Circus, Elvis Presley, or Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (all costumes that my daughter, Ella, has worn through the years).

    So, I’ve come up with a fun way to have an UnHalloween celebration that will still get your class excited about learning on October 31.

    There are all kinds of different themes that you can have for your UnHalloween Day:

    • Witches

    • Pumpkins

    • Spiders

    • Candy (not a popular choice in many schools, but still fun)

    I love the monster theme and have created several fun activities and collected many awesome books that make for a fun-filled day of learning.

    Go Away Monster Spray

    I get a small, clear spray bottle and fill it up with regular old water. I tape this monster spray label on the bottle and introduce it to my class. I then give them washable markers and let them draw their own monsters on paper. Then they bring their pictures to the front and spray the Go Away Monster Spray while repeating this rhyme:

    When I see a monster,

    I say, "You cannot stay!"

    Then I grab the bottle of

    Go Away (dramatic pause) Monster Spray!

    I like to look at each monster and then tell the student who created it how he or she should say the rhyme. Examples would be, “Your monster looks a little shy, I think you should whisper the rhyme to him!” or “You need to yell the rhyme because your monster looks pretty mean!” Make sure to ask each child to describe their monster and also to point out the rhyming words in the phrase.

    Five Senses Monster

    I love having an art activity for my class to do. I always connect it to what we are learning. Art projects help students work on cutting, gluing, and following multi-step directions. Cutting and gluing are a way to build a child’s fine motor skills, and can transfer to their ability to hold pencils, tie shoes, and perform other daily activities. During the month of October, my class covers the five senses so it makes "sense" for my monster art project to include a "five senses" review.

    DirectionsPatterns

    Students use my patterns and get to pick any color that they like for the parts of their monster. They use this sheet to label their monsters five senses. This art project is structured enough for students to work independently, but still has an element of personalization. It also serves as a great assessment for the previously taught information.

    Monster Juice

    Use ginger ale, frozen limeade concentrate, lime sherbet, and gummy worms. First pour the ginger ale into a pitcher and then add the frozen limeade concentrate. After these two ingredients have reacted you can add the lime sherbet and watch that react with the mixture. I ladle out a little Monster Juice for everyone and add a few gummy worms for a garnish.

    This activity is perfect for sequencing and watching reactions between different ingredients. You can use this sheet as a wrap up activity about sequencing. You can make this recipe in any container that you have. I enjoy making it in a caldron.

    My Favorite Monster Books

    Even Monsters Need Haircut

    Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott

    A great descriptive book with adorable illustrations that helps students understand that monsters come in all varieties.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Leonardo the Terrible Monster

    Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

    This is my go-to monster book because it’s such a fun read. The title leads you to believe that Leonardo is great at being scary, but sweet Leonardo really is terrible at it. My favorite part to read aloud is when Max unleashes why he really cried. It’s a great little kid breakdown that will have the students in your room laughing out loud.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What Under the Bed?

    What’s Under the Bed? by Joe Fenton

    A fun book with a great twist. There is a monster under the bed, but he is just as scared about what's in the bed!

     

     

     

     

    Go Away Big Green Monster!Go Way, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

    Always a favorite book with the kids. Be prepared to leave this out after you read it because the students will want to build the monster and watch him disappear again and again. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jeremy Draws a MonsterJeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

    Use this book to introduce the Go Away Monster Spray activity. Jeremy draws a monster and then when the monster becomes too bossy, Jeremy tries different ways to get him to leave. I love to stop reading this book and have my students brainstorm different ways that Jeremy could get the monster to leave.

     

     

     

    The Monster Who Lost His Mean

    The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds

    If you are teaching beginning sounds, this book is an awesome way to illustrate your lessons. What happens when a monster loses his "mean"? He becomes an "onster." Super creative and a sweet story.

     

     

     

     

    Let’s connect on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next week.

     

    Join us for an exclusive video with Taylor Swift about books, and how reading and writing have influenced her.

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